"SMOKERAMA" is an illustrated publication which takes us on a nostalgic trip through smoking accessories of the twenties, thirties and forties. CAMEL, LUCKY STRIKE, PALL MALL, and CHESTERFIELD are cigarette brands that were once as familiar as the movie stars and sports personalities (and even a future American President) who publicized them. As a matter of fact, we would like to remind you that Camels were promoted by Fred Astaire, William Holden, Eva Gabor, Henry Fonda, Tony Curtis and Rock Hudson. Old Golds were publicized by Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Jack Webb, Gregory Peck, Bob Hope, Jane Wyman, and Ronald Reagan (who at the time was acting in Westerns) advertised Chesterfield cigarettes. And last but not least, Edmund Lowe, Marlene Dietrich and Lilli Palmer were the testimonials of Lucky Strikes.

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During the decade after the first world war, smoking was synonymous with sophistication, elegance and charm. It was a fashion statement, and just like with clothes and cars, the smoker needed certain accessories which could turn a simple act like smoking into a new status symbol. And the companies working in this sector did not overlook the opportunity to turn this status symbol into big business. They created an entire range of new smoking accoutrements. ³Smokerama² offers a vast array of beautiful, fashionable and curious smoking accessories to collectors and those nostalgic for a bygone era. It is a seductive idea: lighters of every shape and size (Zippo, Ronson, Dunhill), ashtrays with the logos of tobacco producers, smoking tables, cigarette distributing machines, match boxes with bizarre or romantic messages, and advertising posters (in particular a very expressive one for Prince Albert pipe tobacco). Each object had- and has- its precise role in the art of smoking.

The objects, which have been exquisitely photographed by Sam Sargent and are accompanied by succinct descriptions, convey to us the importance that smoking had for Americans in between the two world wars, as well as providing a visual documentation of their favorite diversion. A book, in short, that should be "seen" rather than read. Giuseppe Selvaggi Collins, Philip, "Smokerama: classic tobacco accoutrements", 1992, Chronicle Books, San Francisco CA 94103 (275 Fifth Street) USA.